Po­lice boss high­lights gun con­trol safety ahead of amnesty

sur­ren­der: Aim of cam­paign is to re­move firearms from crim­i­nal use

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - Paul re­och pre­och@the­courier.co.uk

A po­lice chief has high­lighted the im­por­tance of a firearms amnesty, de­scrib­ing it as be­ing “par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant” to Tay­side and Fife due to its large ru­ral area.

Chief In­spec­tor Ian Scott, area com­man­der for Perth and Kin­ross, was speaking be­fore the launch of the Na­tional Firearms Sur­ren­der Cam­paign, which be­gins at 7am on Mon­day and will run for two weeks, fin­ish­ing at 11.59pm on July 1.

The aim of the cam­paign is to re­move firearms from crim­i­nal use. Res­i­dents who pos­sess firearms, in­clud­ing shotguns, and am­mu­ni­tion for which they do not hold a valid cer­tifi­cate will be able to hand th­ese over to the po­lice.

In ad­di­tion, peo­ple will be able to sur­ren­der replica firearms, BB guns, im­i­ta­tion firearms and bul­lets.

A pre­vi­ous gun amnesty, held in June 2016, re­sulted in more than 12,500 weapons be­ing handed in to po­lice sta­tions across Scot­land and was deemed a great suc­cess.

Mr Scott ex­plained why he thinks the move is vi­tal to ar­eas such as Perth and Kin­ross, An­gus and Fife.

“This firearms amnesty is par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant to Perth and Kin­ross where we have a large ru­ral area where in­di­vid­u­als may have his­tor­i­cally kept some form of weapon for pest con­trol, or stored a gun in an out­build­ing,” he said.

“They will now have the op­por­tu­nity to have them safely dealt with as part of the sur­ren­der cam­paign, which is de­signed to im­prove pub­lic safety.

“As the cam­paign op­er­ates on an amnesty at the point of sur­ren­der of the firearm to Po­lice Scot­land, ap­proval has been granted by the Lord Ad­vo­cate to run the cam­paign dur­ing the stip­u­lated time pe­riod only.”

Mr Scott stated the terms ‘sur­ren­der and amnesty’ are of­ten in­ter­change­able but pointed out the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two words for the pur­poses of the cam­paign.

“The term ‘amnesty’ ex­ists only at the point of sur­ren­der of the firearm to the po­lice and does not pro­vide an amnesty for the life­time of the firearm,” he added.

This means that po­lice will ac­cept a firearm which is be­ing handed in for dis­posal as part of the cam­paign and pro­vide a lim­ited im­mu­nity (amnesty) for pos­ses­sion of that firearm at the point of sur­ren­der – gen­er­ally at a po­lice sta­tion – or by pre-ar­ranged col­lec­tion from a home ad­dress.

This firearms amnesty is par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant to Perth and Kin­ross where we have a large ru­ral area

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